Argentina complains of ‘illegal’ activity

9 Aug

Argentina’s government said Wednesday it has informed stock exchanges in London, Milan, New York and Rome of what it calls “illegal” activity by five oil companies in the waters surrounding the disputed Falkland Islands. This follows news that the American company, Nobel Energy, has this week signed a deal with Falklands Oil and Gas.

In June, Argentina’s Energy Secretariat declared “illegal” the exploration activities by Desire Petroleum, Rockhopper Exploration, Argos Resources Ltd., Borders & Southern Petroleum PLC, and Falkland Oil & Gas Ltd. in Argentine waters. The government said it would file civil and criminal lawsuits against the companies for “clandestine and illicit” activities in the area although it wasn’t immediately clear what tangible impact, if any, the proceedings might have on the oil companies, as none is believed to have assets in Argentina. Argentina has also threatened similar measures against the shareholders of the companies and their bankers.

Tensions have risen since 2010, when UK listed oil companies started drilling for an estimated 8.3 billion barrels of crude believed to be under the waters surrounding the Falklands. 

The Falkland Islands have been claimed by Britain since 1765 when they established a settlement at Port Egmont on West Falkland Island. Argentina bases its own claim on geographic proximity, an alleged ‘inheritance’ from Spain, and a small settlement on East Falkland Island started in 1828 although the settlers had British permission. The Americans viewed this latter settlement as ‘piratical’ and destroyed it in 1831. Argentina’s reaction was to send an armed force to seize East Falkland Island but a small British force suggested that they leave after a few weeks. They did so.


One Response to “Argentina complains of ‘illegal’ activity”

  1. Don Alberto August 9, 2012 at 1:30 am #


    According to which internationally acknowledged law?

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